ICC Arbitration Conference To Address Emerging Legal Issues In International Sporting Events

BY ALEC HEYDEMANN — This November 11-13, the International Chamber of Commerce will host the annual Miami International Arbitration in Latin America conference.  This meeting marks the tenth anniversary of the ICC’s annual Miami conference and will highlight current and future issues in international arbitration, with a particular focus on topics involved in the 2012 London Olympic games, as well as the upcoming 2014 FIFA World Cup and 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. 

 The FIFA World Cup in 2014 and the 2016 Olympic games will both take place in Brazil, and both no doubt will spark a great deal of arbitration. Large international sporting events raise the possibility of a broad variety of legal disputes, rulings on the final results of sporting competitions, copyright disputes, substance abuse decisions, and exclusion from Olympic teams.  

The unique interests of large international sporting events such as FIFA World Cup and the Olympic games require speedy and effective decisions.  To meet this need for quick resolutions, organizers use special tribunals—called Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) ad Hoc tribunals—that hear claims on an intensive 24-hour basis. However, this efficiency must be balanced against the need for fairness. The fast decisions of the CAS tribunals can have far-reaching effects on third parties. Therefore, the CAS often rejects applications for expedited rulings that could adversely affect non-parties.

The impact of the London Olympic Games and Paralympic Games Act on the 2012 Olympic games in terms of advertising regulations, local planning, and the use of the Olympic brand will also be discussed at the Miami ICC conference.   The London Act, passed in 2006, included anti-terror provisions. Brazil, however, has yet to adopt any anti-terror laws, and it will be interesting to see how Brazil plans to secure the large-scale sporting events in its near future. Brazil has not, however, been entirely idle in creating a legal framework for the World Cup and Olympics. Brazil has enacted Law No. 12,035 “Olympic Act” to provide rules for the 2016 Olympic games in Rio de Janeiro regulation immigration rules, public contracts, in the need for performance of the Games, and protecting Olympic symbols.  

Those interested in sports law and arbitration in international sporting events should consider attending the Miami ICC conference as Sunday, November 11, has been dedicated to topics in Sports, Business, and Arbitration.  Issues ranging from construction of sports arenas, player transfers, sponsorship, branding, and broadcasting fees will be discussed, as well as solutions offered by arbitration with an Olympics and World Cup specific perspective. Arbitrators and attorneys will discuss pressing concerns for the future of sports arbitration.

You can register for the conference here. Registration fees range from $800 to $1835, depending on the day(s) of attendance and a participant’s ICC membership.

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